NATIONAL NEWS - The North Gauteng High Court has dismissed AfriForum’s application to have the closure of beaches overturned.
This after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that all beaches in the Eastern Cape, Garden Route, would be closed from 16 December to 3 January.
He also said all beaches in KwaZulu-Natal would be closed on 16, 25, 26 and 31 December, as well as from 1 January to 3 January.
The Afrikaner lobby group had submitted a motion to the court in Pretoria on 15 December to have the regulations declared unconstitutional.
AfriForum argued that the restriction of access to beaches, which are public property, amounted to a restriction of a basic human right.
“It is unconstitutional and discriminatory to close certain beaches given the enormous economic impact it will have, especially on the coastal towns, which have already suffered greatly throughout the year due to the restrictive regulations. The December holidays are an opportunity to recover their economies to some extent and the closure of beaches will lead to enormous, irreparable damage to the business people in these towns,” said Monique Taute, AfriForum’s head of campaigns.
“Visiting beaches is a form of entertainment that takes place in the open air and exposes people to the sun that contributes to a healthy immune system. The alternative is for people to turn to places such as shopping centres and restaurants that pose a much higher risk of spreading the virus.”
On Tuesday, the DA’s application to overturn the closure of the Garden Route’s beaches was dismissed by the Western Cape High Court.
“The DA is still deeply concerned that the blanket closure of the Garden Route’s beaches over the festive season will have far-reaching and devastating consequences for local economies, and for the livelihoods which depend on seasonal tourism during this time.
“While we respect the judgement, we understand that this ruling remains a devastating blow to the thousands of small businesses along the Garden Route which are now at serious risk of collapse.
“The DA will continue to act in both the interests of the lives and livelihoods of South Africans during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure that we keep citizens safe, and that we still have an economy left once the dust has settled,” said DA leader John Steenhuisen.